Beyoncé divides fans with Dubai Atlantis Royal show

By Madison Raymond January 25, 2023
Beyoncé divides fans with Dubai Atlantis Royal show  

Pop star Beyoncé’s first performance in four years (with a rumoured $24 million [£20 m] price tag) was always going to be epic — but the 60-minute show at the Atlantis The Royal’s opening party far surpassed expectations.

On Saturday, Jan 21, VIPs, influencers and journalists- including mogul Jay-Z,  Kendall Jenner, British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Black Panther star Letitia Wright, actress Rebel Wilson, and former One Direction singer Liam Payne — were invited to celebrate the seven-star landmark’s grand reveal.

 The mega resort, which has been eight years in the making, features 17 celebrity-run restaurants, a shop that sells original Picassos, a 21-foot high aquarium filled with 4,000 moon jellyfish, and 360-degree views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai skyline.

However, Queen Bey's appearance did not come without controversy. Dubai has strict laws about same-sex relationships and as her new album Renaissance is seen as a celebration of black and queer dance culture, many were upset about her performance in the country. 

A Freelance music journalist Abigail Firth tells BBC Newsbeat that Beyoncé's recent work is indebted to LGBT culture.

"It seems like a really misguided choice from her," says Abigail. "She's obviously a multimillionaire anyway she didn't really need to do this, she didn't really need the money." 

"That's probably where some of the backlash is stemming from as well," she added. 

While all did not prove well, she certainly aced her fashion game as she emerged wearing a yellow gown encrusted with glimmering acrylic shards from the waist down. The striking dress was the work of Atelier Zuhra, a Dubai-based label owned by Omani designer Mousa Al Awfi, and was finished with an otherworldly marabou feather-studded train that burst out around the superstar’s shoulders like wings.

Styled by KJ Moody, Al Awfi told Vogue that she “started on that dress back in November” and that, “it took almost a month-and-a-half to finish." 

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